2015 Speakers

Mary Griggs

Mary Griggs spent over ten years running bookstores with Borders Books and Music before opening a non-profit consulting firm, Pacific Training and Resources. She also serves as board chair for Forum For Equality, a statewide LGBT equality organization in Louisiana. She is the author of three novels: Unbroken Circle, Crash Stop, and In the Midst of […]

Jerry Rabushka

Jerry Rabushka, from St. Louis, MO, is a writer and musician. He has previously won both the Saints and Sinners short fiction and playwriting competitions. His novel Star Bryan was published in 2012; his next novel, The Prophecy, is scheduled for publication in 2015. His many published plays have been performed throughout the US and […]

Mark Merlis

Mark Merlis’ novels include American Studies, An Arrow’s Flight, and Man About Town. His work has won the Los Angeles Times book prize, the Lambda Literary Award, and the Ferro-Grumley award for distinction in gay writing.  A new novel, JD, is due from the University of Wisconsin Press in spring 2015.

Bridget Birdsall

Bridget Birdsall, MFA, is an author and inspirational speaker. Despite dyslexic challenges, Bridget has pursued her dream to write. Bridget’s YA novel Double Exposure about an intersex teen athlete was selected by Publisher’s Weekly as one of the top anti-bully books of 2014. Bridget is becoming known as a writer willing to tackle tough topics. A resident […]

Cindy Rizzo

Cindy Rizzo is the author of two lesbian romance novels: Exception to the Rule, which won the 2014 award for Best Debut Fiction from the Golden Crown Literary Society and Love Is Enough, released in September 2014. Her short story, The Miracle of the Lights, was published in the anthology Unwrap These Presents (Ylva Publishing). […]

Felice Picano

Felice Picano is an author poetry, stories, novels, novellas, memoirs and non-fiction. Several titles were national and international bestsellers. Four plays have been produced. He is considered a founder of modern gay literature along with the other members of the path breaking Violet Quill Club. Picano’s first novel was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in […]

Frank Perez

Frank Perez is a columnist for Ambush Magazine and has authored two books, In Exile and Treasures of the Vieux Carre.  He also serves as President of the LGBT+ Archives Project of Louisiana.  In addition, he also teaches courses on Queer New Orleans History at Delgado Community College and Professional Tour-Guiding.  Perez owns the Crescent […]

J.R. Greenwell

J.R. Greenwell has been honored four times as a Saints and Sinners Short Fiction Contest finalist.  In 2011, he completed his memoir, Teased Hair and the Quest for Tiaras, and in 2013, his debut collection of short fiction, Who the Hell is Rachel Wells?, was published by Chelsea Station Editions. J.R. resides in Louisville, KY.

Rebecca Chance

Rebecca Chance is the writer of seven UK Sunday Times best-selling glamorous thrillers, Divas, Bad Girls, Bad Sisters, Killer Heels, Bad Angels, Killer Queen, and Bad Brides, which have been described as “Jackie Collins meets Sidney Sheldon in a gay bar in St Tropez.” She has also been called the ‘Betty Boop’ and the ‘Dorothy Parker’ of crime fiction. Born in London […]

Marie Castle

Marie Castle is the Mississippi-born author of the new, wickedly charming paranormal series The Darkmirror, which includes Book One: Hell’s Belle and Book Two: The Devil You Know. Writing on Book Three: Demons of a Feather is in progress. Hell’s Belle was recently shortlisted for a Lambda Literary Award and two Golden Crown Awards. She […]


2015 Fiction Contest

Submissions are now open for our Sixth Annual Short Fiction Contest.

The winner will be selected from this year’s submissions of original, unpublished short stories between 4,000 and 7,000 words with LGBT content on the broad theme of “Saints and Sinners.” This contest would not be possible without a generous grant from The John Burton Harter Charitable Trust. Andrew Holleran (pictured), author of Dancer from the Dance, Nights in Aruba, The Beauty of Men, Ground Zero, Chronicle of a Plague Revisted, In September the Light Changes, and Grief: A Novel, will select the winning stories.


One grand prize of $500 and two second place prizes of $100 will be awarded. In addition, the top stories will be published in an anthology from Bold Strokes Books. There will also be a book release party and reading held during the 12th annual Saints and Sinners Literary Conference in New Orleans in 2015. A list of the top ten finalists will be posted on our website and in our e-newsletter. Have a question about one of our writing contests? Please send questions to: contests@tennesseewilliams.net.


  • The annual fiction contest is open to authors at all stages of their careers and to stories in all genres.
  • Only previously unpublished stories will be accepted.
  • Stories that won this contest in previous years are ineligible; their authors remain eligible but must submit new work.
  • Stories submitted to this contest in previous years that did not place in the top ten are eligible.
  • Stories that have won any other writing contests are ineligible.


  • Submissions should be in standard manuscript format (double-spaced, one inch margins, 12 point font). Please include a word count on first page under the title.
  • Your name and contact information should NOT appear on the manuscript.
  • No bios or resumes. We only consider manuscript quality.
  • Word Count: 4,000 to 7,000
  • Submit only original, unpublished short stories.
  • Theme (interpret as you wish): Saints and Sinners

Entry fee: $15 per story. There is no limit on the number of stories each author may enter. Deadline: November 15, 2014 (postmark) Submissions for the 6th Annual Contest are now open.


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